There hasn’t been a shortage of excitement for fans of Game of Thrones, as the past six seasons have been defined by its gripping story. Now that Season 6 is over, fans can look forward to Season 7. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been pretty vocal about the future of the series, including how many episodes are left. Based on previous interviews, there will be a total of 13 episodes remaining to be divided between Seasons 7 and 8.
Now we have confirmation of a shorter episode order for Season 7 and when it will premiere. More on the story below.
HBO has announced that Season 7 of Game Of Thrones will be 7 episodes and will debut in Summer 2017 (rather than the usual Spring premiere), with production to begin in Northern Ireland this summer, with additional portions to be filmed in Spain and Iceland.
HBO also confirmed today that additional shooting locations in Spain will include Sevilla, Caceres, Almodovar del Rio, Santiponce, Zumaia, and Bermeo.
While a shorter Season 7 is not surprising, the Summer 2017 debut puts it out of the running for next year’s Emmys — the series just received 23 Primetime Emmy nominations for Season 6.
Obviously, fans of the series want more episodes, especially 10 for each season as it has been. However, a shorter new season would allow for more focus and concise storytelling, and will tie up a few loose ends that previous seasons may have left behind. Plus, the showrunners want to go out on top with the show, which is a good idea.
Here’s what HBO said about the shorter season and later debut:
“Now that winter has arrived on GAME OF THRONES, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing,” said [Casey] Bloys [president, HBO programming]. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”
Here’s what Benioff told Deadline last month about the final two seasons of Game Of Thrones…
“It’s two more seasons we’re talking about. From pretty close to the beginning, we talked about doing this in 70-75 hours, and that’s what we’ll end up with. Call it 73 for now. What Dan says is really true, but it’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome. We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end. As Dan [Weiss, co-showrunner] said, we’ve known the end for quite some time and we’re hurtling towards it. Those last images from the show that aired last night showed that. Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros; Jon Snow is king of the North and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them. The pieces are on the board now. Some of the pieces have been removed from the board and we are heading toward the end game. The thing that has excited us from the beginning, back to the way we pitched it to HBO is, it’s not supposed to be an ongoing show, where every season it’s trying to figure out new story lines. We wanted it to be one giant story, without padding it out to add an extra 10 hours, or because people are still watching it. We wanted to something where, if people watched it end to end, it would make sense as one continuous story. We’re definitely heading into the end game now.”
So now we know “Winter Is Here,” we just have to wait a little longer for it to finally arrive to us.